Squirrel 'Splosion

I headed over to Richardson Nature Center to take a few minutes to enjoy their feeders and found the whole feeding station inundated with squirrels. It was mesmerizing to watch all the bouncing and romping and crawling and chasing. The above photo has at least 8 squirrels, but I did count 17 grays and 2 red squirrels out all at one time. Between the snow and wind, the baffles were lower and the squirrels had figured out how to jump past them. I chuckled at one point as a squirrel dropped like a stone from above onto a feeder.

This chickadee paused for a moment of grabbing some black-oil sunflower seeds to watch two squirrels fighting. All of the squirrels had some type of open sore on their bodies that many of them kept chewing at. I thought about posting a photo, but thought better of it after the TLC show link--lol. I think that whole herd could stand a few visits from a great horned owl or red-tailed hawk.

This male cardinal flew in to eat out of they fly thru tray feeder. He kept waiting for the squirrel to leave but the furry thing refused to relinquish his prime seat in the middle of the sunflowers.

It was while he was sitting on the roof of the feeder that I was able to get some head shots of him. It was fun to just drink in the patterns of his feathers, like the brown edging along the edges of his back...hm...I wonder if Pyle would call that light brown or dusky brown (banders will get that joke).

He eventually flew to a nearby bush to wait out the squirrel. He looks almost dejected in this photo. "Oh, will I ever get to eat sunflowers again. Sigh. I feel like a lonely asparagus."

Alas, he did not get oilers while I was at the nature center, but did get some hard core posing in. He could have gone to the tube feeders--not a cardinal's first choice, but I have seen them on the tube feeders here before, perhaps this one does not have the hang of it yet?